Betty Hanlon-Deever: Serving hospitality

Betty has enhanced the foodservice department at Pfizer La Jolla by supporting and recognizing her employee team, resulting in low turnover.

At a Glance

  • 940 employeesat Pfizer
  • $850,000 annual sales volume
  • 260 meals served per day (excluding catering)
  • 9 foodservice employees

Accomplishments

Betty Hanlon-Deever has enhanced the foodservice department at Pfizer La Jolla by:

  • Maintaining a high standard of customer service that has defined the program and keeps guests on campus
  • Implementing client-requested health initiatives, including locally sourced produce, farmers’ markets and a juicing station
  • Supporting and recognizing her employee team, resulting in low turnover

Of the more than 900 employees on the Pfizer campus, “she probably knows all of them,” Stephenson adds. “For [some of] the site leaders, she knows what type of coffee they have, so she’ll have it in their office
every morning. The littlest things go so far with people, and she knows that.”

It’s this focus on customer service that keeps her guests coming back. “Even the people that come from other sites, they’ll go home and say, ‘we don’t get this in Pearl River, we don’t get this in New York,’ so they’re always wowed,” Stephenson says. “There was one colleague who’s on the leadership team, and [at Betty’s] Salaried Employee of the Year award celebration said, ‘I eat in this café every day and I can’t say that I did that before Betty.’ People love her and they definitely feel the customer service and [are] so appreciated here.”

Shortly after Hanlon-Deever began at Pfizer, the company requested that the department provide healthier food options and increase sustainability measures, which required the foodservice program to be modified—and Hanlon-Deever more than delivered.

“Betty really took the lead for Compass here,” explains Muizz Hasham, area director for Jones Lang LaSalle at Pfizer La Jolla. “She was able to completely turn the foodservices model around and really provide healthier options and more local ingredients, more regional items that were procured from local farmers … to the point that we got so many favorable responses from our client [and] from our customers, and not only at this facility, but other facilities of Pfizer. They actually are very complimentary, saying the level of the food and the level of the staff and the personal interaction [Betty] provides is really beyond what other facilities are experiencing. It really became a flagship store for Pfizer and for Compass to look at the model in its entirety. Betty was really instrumental in changing that type of offering for the Pfizer account.”

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
unsung heroes graphic

Febin Bellamy, a senior at Georgetown University, is the founder of Unsung Heroes, a nonprofit that features service workers on college campuses in man-on-the-street-style Facebook interviews. This year, Bellamy is working with a dozen schools to launch their own chapters of the storytelling platform. Here’s what he’s learned about staff shoutouts.

Q: Why did you decide to start Unsung Heroes?

A: One day I started a conversation with a custodial worker in the business school that I would see all the time. I learned that we had a lot of similarities; for instance, we both wanted to...

Ideas and Innovation
bolognese sauce

We’re trying to bring scratch cooking to all the elementary schools, but we’re taking it dish by dish. Right now, we satellite a lot of the dishes out. This month we made a Bolognese from scratch, and went to each of the schools to talk to them about the process and see if they could implement it. It helps us find out the hurdles and what they are going to need to make it work.

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

FSD Resources